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Colorado: CU Seeks Dismissal of Churchill Lawsuit

The ethnic studies professor filed a complaint in July saying his First Amendment rights were violated when he was fired for research misconduct. He is seeking reinstatement.

By Arthur Kane Denver Post Staff Writer

The University of Colorado filed motions asking a Denver district judge to dismiss former CU professor Ward Churchill’s lawsuit against the school.

Churchill, who taught ethnic studies, filed a complaint in July, charging that the regents and the school violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and denied him due process in his termination.

School officials responded Tuesday, saying the regents have immunity from a lawsuit over their decision to fire Churchill and that school officials have a right to investigate whether a faculty member violated his duties.

“The governing legal framework specifically requires the employer to undertake a reasonable investigation,” the motion says.”I don’t believe they are a correct statement of the law,” he said.

CU attorney Patrick O’Rourke said he believes the university has a strong argument to get the lawsuit dismissed.

“I wouldn’t file the motions if I didn’t think they had a good chance of success,” he said.

Churchill was fired in July for research misconduct.


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